Butter Cake Biscocho

Last week I was so energetic. I exercised (seriously) nearly every day bisc1and I felt so smug about the number of calories I had burned off… maybe in excess of 4,000! So when the weekend rolled along I was feeling like the invincible Marketman! That disheveled being that swoops in on unsuspecting markets and food stalls and acquires calories like there is no tomorrow. Saturday morning started with not one, but two, servings of Angus Beef Belly with mashed potatoes and garlic fried rice. We also bought a medium sized Vargas butter cake. And two humongous ensaymadas made more or less the old-fashioned way from a baker in Pampanga. My family shared a huge slab of roast beef also acquired from the Weekend Gourmet (see earlier post). We were celebrating a birthday in the house so I bought a couple of kilos of cebu lechon that I had with some of my homemade achara. I had ensaymada and biscocho for a snack, a reasonable dinner, a homemade session of “Frigid Rock” – Marketman’s home version of “Cold Stone” where I set out a chilled marble slab and mix all kinds of goodies into ice cream (more on this in a future post), and a final slice of cake with tea to put me to sleep. Sunday began with some wild boar tapa and rice. I also made some lechon paksiw which we had for dinner. For lunch we tried to be good and ate healthy Japanese. But what good is that if there is butter cake at home?

So what is the big deal of the weekend? Besides the Angus Beef Belly? bisc2The find had to be the Vargas biscocho made from unsold butter cake. Or at least I am assuming it was from unsold butter cake. I swear I am not related to this vendor and I do not get anything for plugging them but their butter cake biscocho is sublime! At PHP120 a container it is a great deal as well… though they were making noises that the price was about to rise. If you haven’t had this yet, go get some next weekend. I can finish a whole container in one episode of some vapid TV show like the Amazing Race. I was never a big fan of biscocho made the old fashioned way… stale bread that is baked with some butter and possibly sugar. But this butter cake biscocho is different. Crisp but light, it screams butter and sugar richness as it melts in your mouth. The delicious dairy fat that coats your mouth is just too good. I can see experimenting with this in a tira misu like concoction if it would just last longer than a day in our household. And I can see ordering 50 containers of this for holiday presents…which someone else will do to and it will all run out before you know it… yikes, maybe I shouldn’t post this article on it! Vargas, please leave some for me!!!

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9 Responses

  1. My current Vargas obsession is their delightful bibingka cassava. It sells for a whopping P30 for a diameter that’s about the circumference of a half-used toilet paper roll — quite small but hey, packed with rich cheese and cream goodness. The flair is in the smokey flavor lent by the way it is cooked and also the banana leaf that it is encased in. I pair it with my favorite Tropical Passion tea latte which I buy from the Coffee Bean nearby.

    I’ll definitely buy a jar of the biscocho this Saturday. Since we’re in the subject of gastronomic debauchery, lemme just say that I used to eat biscocho (the one from Iloilo) by filling the hollow groove with leche flan. Well, that was 20-something years ago and that biscocho and leche flan has taken residence on my waist and butt…. Oh well. A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.

  2. Wow, do the Vargases know how much you love their stuff? I’m friends with one of them, I should email them all your impassioned write-ups. =)

    PS — I rather like the Amazing Race although this season’s family edition is somewhat lackluster. I think the whole race is set to take place in continental United States. Boo.

  3. wysgal, I do like the Amazing Race as well. I normally don’t watch much TV but we are glued to the TV on Wednesdays with my family. We even went to El Nido after my daughter saw it in last year’s race! And no, I have not told the Vargases that I have plugged their stuff but I order from them 2x a month now…

  4. But please please Marketman, tell us more about the old-fashioned ensaimada. Inquiring minds want to know.

  5. The Vargas butter cake is the absolute best in butter cakes but I have yet to try their biscocho. Also heard that they have sinful brazos de mercedes.
    Tried the Pampanga ensaimada at the Salcedo market and it was good. But I found one that was better at the Legaspi market sold by Cocoa Loco. Their quezo de bola ensaimadas, made the old fashioned (Pampanga) way, were large, soft, moist, rich and oh so yummy. Comes with white or milk chocolate fondue. Tried their nutella ensaimada which was also delectable, a treat for chocoholics like myself.
    Also tried their chocolate cheesecake and mud pies. Chocolate lovers heaven! The cheesecake was light and it came topped with a chocolate bar of my choice (Toblerone yum!). My daughter went for the mud pie and finished it off in no time.

  6. Grace, I have to return to the Sunday market soon to try some of those chocolate delicacies you describe!

  7. The word “biscocho”, albeit prefixed by the venerable name of Vargas, seems entirely too mundane and prosaic for the most heavenly, burgeoning-with-butter experience ever to emanate from that ubiquitous plastic “garapon”. Might I humbly suggest they call it “BEST-COCHO” instead so that all may know the promise of things to come! Or how about “MA-MON DIEU! Tostado”?


    BASE(Iniside layer)
    Ingredients Quantity
    Water 150 grams
    Bread flour 350 grams
    Shortening 150grams

    1. Mix all ingredients by hand and form into dough.
    2. Cut dough into 10 grams portions and form into balls. Set aside.

    Ingredients Quantity
    White sugar 180 grams
    Bread flour 60 grams
    Water 40 grams

    1. Combine all ingredients until smooth. Cut into 10 grams portions. Set aside.

    1. Flatten the base dough, put 10 grams filling and seal.
    2. Generously dust flour over the working table and flatten the dough until it reaches 1/8-inch thickness.
    3. Preheat the griller over the stove. Grill the piyaya until slightly golden brown. Note: Both sides must be slightly golden brown.
    4. Serve cool.

    Yield: 68 pieces

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